A major storm is hitting South Florida, bringing up to 10 inches of rain in some areas. Flood watches extend from Florida’s Space Coast to near Key Biscayne, and the National Weather Service has also listed Southeast Florida at Level 3 of 4 for risk of flash flooding and heavy rain.
Miami, Fort Lauderdale are facing major rainstorms and the threat of flooding
The weather service determined there was more than a 90 percent chance that Miami and Fort Lauderdale would see at least 4 inches of rain through Thursday morning, in addition to what fell from Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
🚨11/15 at 7 a.m. HEAVY RAIN THREAT UPDATE: Confidence continues to increase regarding the potential for heavy rain starting later this morning and continuing through Thursday.
Below are the latest probabilities in terms of rainfall amounts across the region. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/f3kXwXuIIm
– NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) November 15, 2023
Wednesday afternoon, weather radar showed moderate to heavy rain falling over much of South Florida, and forecast models expect it to continue into the pre-dawn hours Thursday in eastern areas. The Meteorological Service warned that rain could fall at rates of up to 1 to 3 inches per hour. She expressed particular concern about heavy rainfall in coastal areas. “If heavy rain falls during periods of high tide in some coastal communities, you will experience a problem with the water receding,” the weather service said.
The agency also expressed concern about additional heavy rainfall in parts of Broward and South Palm Beach counties, where heavy rain fell Tuesday, leading to saturated soil. Parts of the greater Fort Lauderdale area picked up between 4 and 6 inches of that “coming” heavy rain, though the airport received proportionately less than 2.75 inches. The Coral Springs Fire Station recorded 6.03 inches as of mid-morning Wednesday. These totals could easily double with rain Wednesday afternoon.
Fort Lauderdale saw an astonishing 101 inches of rainfall this year, just 1.36 inches short of the record set in 1947. The annual average is 63.5 inches.
The city recorded just 2 feet during a severe rainstorm on April 12 and 13 — or the equivalent of 88 billion gallons of water, and the wet pattern remains steady. A persistent rainstorm should push the city into its wettest year on record.
The first round of heavy rain Tuesday into the night came from the “convergence zone.” This means that there was a band of wind gathering near the ground, in this case heading from west to east. The gently colliding air masses pushed the air upward, creating an area of heavy rain. These rain cells were pushed west toward Boynton Beach by winds off the Atlantic Ocean.
The video appeared On social media, street flooding in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is visible.
Here’s a look at the highest totals as of Wednesday morning:
- North Lauderdale: 6.08 inches
- Broward Central College: 5.67 inches
- Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport: 5.61 inches
- Cooper City: 5.35 inches
- North Andrews Park: 5.09 inches
- Farm: 4.51 inches
- Hollywood North Perry Airport: 3.77 inches
The main event, meanwhile, is just getting started. A low pressure system over the central Gulf of Mexico is slowly lifting a warm front northward. This front extends to the east of the low pressure area, reaching the vicinity of Miami. It does not appear that this front will make further progress in the north.
Meanwhile, a high-altitude disturbance will pass over Florida Wednesday evening into Thursday. This will ignite a surface low forming on the eastern front of South Florida.
This new low will bring heavy rain to the west, but may extend too far east to cause its worst effects on Florida. There is a possibility that it will usurp Florida’s moisture and keep heavy rains offshore.
However, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain in Southeast Florida, and expects another 8 inches of rain, give or take, in parts of Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties. An exceptionally moisture-rich air mass is pushed ashore – each atmospheric column will contain up to 2.25 inches of water. Visualize the air as a sponge; It is fully saturated and ready to shed its moisture in the form of heavy rain.
That should also ensure Fort Lauderdale sets its rainfall record, if not by Wednesday evening, then by Thursday morning. Fort Lauderdale sees an average of 4 inches more rain today than it did a century ago. This may be linked to human-caused climate change, because warmer air can hold more water; During the same period, temperatures rose by 2.9 degrees.
Meanwhile, a change in wind speed and/or direction with height as the developing low intensifies could lead to an isolated rotating thunderstorm over the Florida Keys. A very low-level tornado threat could creep into the Miami area later Wednesday, but that’s a low possibility. Early Wednesday, a possible tornado developed on Big Pine Key Based on radar evidence.
Other risks from this storm in Southeast Florida will include gusty winds in excess of 30 mph near the coast which could pose a danger to mariners. The Met Office also warned of “dangerous surf conditions” on Thursday and minor coastal flooding during periods of high tide.
While southeastern Florida is engulfed in this storm, the western side of the peninsula – Which could use rain — We will see relatively little. Much of the area from Marco Island to Tampa is in the midst of a major drought.
After passing Florida on Thursday, the storm system, which is currently considered non-tropical, could reach some tropical characteristics over warm waters east of the peninsula. But it has only a 10% chance of becoming a named storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm will pass over the northern Bahamas on Thursday evening and may wrap around the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday evening.
On Saturday, the storm could bring heavy rain and gusty winds to far eastern New England before sweeping across Atlantic Canada as a storm-like storm northeast late Saturday into Sunday.